A look at the hair and makeup looks that made it to Jasmine Curtis-Smith's Wonder cover story
After over five years in this line of work, there’s one lesson I’ve learned over and over: Murphy’s law will kick into action when you least expect it. For the lucky few who aren’t quite familiar with Murphy’s law, it’s basically the harrowing expectation that everything that can go wrong, will go wrong—and the single unspoken convention that governs all important photo shoots.
Case in point: our November cover. While a chunk of our team had worked with Jasmine Curtis-Smith in the past—and spoke greatly of her being an absolute breeze to work with, as she proved later that afternoon—the actress ended up getting caught up at her previous commitment and stuck in traffic for a couple of hours. With a jam-packed schedule and the thickening Manila traffic, no one could really be blamed for the delay. Again, just Murphy’s law doing its thing.
With time ticking and our studio threatening to close at 8PM on the dot, our team fell back on our knack for thinking on our feet and got to work.
The first order of business: slashing looks.
Depending on the number of hours we have carved out for a shoot, we typically gun for at least two hair and makeup looks when working on covers. We take care to plan out fashion and beauty for every layout, but as circumstance would have it, sometimes six layouts turn into four or less. It’s all a matter of prioritizing, really. So which beauty looks would see the light of day?
When we gave UNIQUE blue brows and smears of green below his eyes, it was because his branding (and his Instagram feed) was a blur of black and white. When we gave Gabbi Garcia undulating, scene-stealing waves, it was because she was known for her long, straight shampoo commercial-worthy hair. As much as possible, we kind of like fucking with norms a little—and knowing Jasmine was down to have some fun with us was our signal to get creative beauty-wise.
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Jasmine Curtis-Smith has undergone her fair share of hair changes: she's had it long and layered, straight and sleek, with a fringe, without a fringe and, just before our shoot, in an enviable wash-and-wear lob. Despite her considerable track record, we looked to take her look further—and what better way to do that than with a dramatic pixie cut?
The wig—initially a mushroom-y tuft of black hair, cut and styled to perfection on the spot by hair stylist Kierlo Velasco—turned out to be such a look that we completely scrapped our second hairstyle: a safer look involving flat iron waves and clip-on bangs.
Now, reality check: with a bone structure like Jasmine's, pulling off a pixie might look easier than it looks, but for the rest of us, making a crop work calls for its due effort. Similar to hair stylist Mycke Arcano's tips on making fringes work in our favor, paying attention to face shape is the most important rule in considering how long, how short and how textured a cut ought to be. If your face isn't quite as angular or your locks falls limp, consider texturizing products and a quick blow-dry to give the hair a good zhuzh.
VERB Sea Texture Cream, P932
NOT YOUR MOTHER'S Double Take Dry Finish Texture Spray, P595
Back to Murphy's Law. Considering the possibility that anything can and will work against you, some of our most memorable shoots ended up a success thanks to good ol' improvisation. When we were producing Jason Dhakal's Past Curfew video, for one, we didn't realize that we needed a microphone prop until the last minute—which then prompted me to scour the bars under our photo studio and offer one of the managers the gift of friendship in exchange for a handheld mic.
The act of improv kicked in for Jasmine's shoot as we attempted to condense her makeup looks. The first look we had done (the peachy matte-shadow-and-MLBB sitch pictured above) ended up looking a little too soft to match up to the edgy, bedroom-meets-boardroom outfits we had lined up. We then made the call to ditch our initial mood board and go slather a darker, moodier shade on her lips. Thankfully John Pagaduan, our designated makeup artist for the day, came prepared!
We topped off the look with a generous helping of gloss, a little extra scrunch to the hair and continued the shoot grind.
3CE Slim Velvet Lip Color in #Plain, P1100
EB ADVANCE Vinyl Lip Gloss, P125
Our last layout left us with less than 30 minutes to shoot and wrap up, which meant that chances for a hair and makeup swap were bleak at best. Thankfully, John and Kierlo were absolute pros about it, expertly smearing color on eyelids and spraying water on Jasmine's mane in record time.
In terms of makeup, we built off the exact same brows and base (“clean and dewy” and “brushed up and bushy” were the exact descriptors in our mood board, in case you were curious), opting to make a quick eye and lip change instead of the total overhaul we initially had planned. We requested makeup artist John to prep three options: a warm yellow, soft lilac and a muted shade of green, but ultimately went with the last option when we saw the dress Jasmine would be wearing. Instead of a mapped out shape, John added color to Jasmine's lids in a rather haphazard, abstract manner to keep the look less formal, more fun.
STILA Suede Shade Liquid Eyeshadow in Enchanted Earth,
available at Rustan's The Beauty Source
If you haven't read through Jasmine Curtis-Smith's cover story yet, do yourself a favor and get yourself acquainted. We promise, there's more than just inspo-worthy beauty looks to see.
Photography Shaira Luna (Artists and Company Manila)
Art and Art Direction Alexandra Lara
Fashion Direction and Styling Nicole Blanco Ramos
Beauty Direction Cessi Treñas
Makeup John Pagaduan
Hair Kierlo Velasco